Saturday, 31 March 2018

Review: Happy Death Day (2017)

Image result for happy death dayStars: Jessica Rothe, Rob Mello

Budget: $4.8 million

Directed By: Christopher B. Landon

So, happy death day, was not a film I thought
I would enjoy quite as much as I did. Not a
true horror film, more of a comedy horror
with slasher elements.
In a nut shell think mean girls, mixed with
scream to the tone of groundhog Day. Which
is what drew me to watch it, groundhog Day is one
of my favourite non horror movies.
With the theme of repetition till you get it right
being it's main focus.

Made for a modest 4.8 million dollars it's not
a major bank buster film either. Which shows,
though not in a bad way.
The effects are subtle but effective and a lot of the
gore kept to a minimum, probably to keep age ratings down for more butts on seats.
This is evident with the nude bit which I'll get too a bit later.

So we first see Tree wake up in a college dorm room. Her phone blaring it's her birthday, which low and behold it is!
She seems irritable even more so that it's a dorm room and she's apparently slept with this guy, Carter.
After pestering him for headache tablets/pills and telling him to keep quiet she flees as fast as she can bumping into Carter's room mate who refers to her as a fine piece of puss, if I remember rightly.
It's clear already Theresa is not a nice person, in fact she's quite a bitch to a lot of people on the way back to her frat house.

Inside we meet some proper college tropes from the airhead girl to the room mate, Lori who has made Tree a little birthday cupcake. Which she promptly throws to the ground. I think here and a few more scenes into it before her first death the movie tries to set up as many people who would have a motive for killing Tree as possible. Even more pointers that she is a nasty person, such as not sticking up for people and even having an affair with her doctor/teacher too!
My initial guess though was surprisingly right but I was thrown off a number of times despite that and questioned it, even with the 'fake reveal' these movies always do which certainly gave this film a large lift in points.

So later on we join Tree wandering back again when she stumbled into a man wearing a mascot mask. Then a few moments later she is ambushed by him in a tunnel after finding a wind up music box thing.
Though fighting back she is inevitably killed.
Only to immediately awaken in Carter's bed with its your birthday blaring on her phone again. She doesn't seem to really notice this 1st time that she's reliving the same day and almost goes through it exactly the same for a while. Until the tunnel bit where manages to avoid the killer this time. Only to end up be killed at a frat party instead.

This time waking up shes terribly disoriented and stumbles around a lot. She seems to realise it's the same day this time and ends up barricading herself in her frat room. Unfortunately for her the killer was either already in there or found a way in, she fights back again but is murdered once more.
Waking in Carters room again we actually see a small change in Tree this time, we also learn that Carter didn't sleep with her just made sure she was okay.
She explains to him what she thinks is going on and even proves certain things, now to me he's slightly excepting of this a bit fast, but time of the movie and pacing it has to happen. Also i mean what would you be like if some you hardly knew told you they were living the same day over and proved it with timed accuracy. Carter tells her if she really is living the same day over and over she has ample time to find out who is killing her and stop them.

Several times we see Tree observing and investigating people who she thinks is the possible killer and either they aren't or she learns something about them. All through this we see her slowly changing as a person too, though later on we do learn why she has turned her feeling off to a degree, though to me it's a bit late and would have been a bit nicer if it was expanded on a bit more throughout. She lost her mother three years ago and it kind of twisted her (though still not a massive excuse for some of the things she does, mainly the affair).
Later we find out that she can't actually (unlike groundhog day) keep this reliving the same day over and over thing up for much longer as each time she dies she gets a little bit weaker. This raises some plot holes especially the fact she seems to retain internal scarring, wouldn't that make her have a shorter life span? A number of other minor ones that just niggle me.

Before she finally works out how to sort everything out Tree has one more blow out and struts around the campus naked. Again as I mentioned earlier kept to shots from behind or shoulder level for age rating purposes, which brings me to this point. Jessica got naked for that scene, well probably with modesty strips etc but, its like why?
Okay it's a scene where she doesn't care anymore, its liberating and funny but quite pointless in the grand scheme of things. This draws me to my last point too, Tree, she hasn't done this that much, I think we see every iteration of her deaths on screen, not like GH day where some are hinted at or just not seen. Tree seems to come to terms with her nastiness and grows as a person very fast, breaking habits, friendships and behaviors ground into her for years in the span of two to three weeks?
A little unbelievable in that sense. So I wont spoil anymore of this film and i'm pretty much done except I will say there's a few nice nods to the films that influenced this one at the end. One last thing a sequel is also in the works for this thanks to its massive $122.4 million return, though its said this one will not be a retread of the first like most sequels are, this will carry on from the end of the first and we will discover how she managed to relive the same day over and over.

So Happy Death Day is a pleasing film, it certainly surprised the hell out of me how good it was. It's definitely a good waste of spare time or a movie night choice, not quite a five out of five but a very very strong 4 out of 5 stars with recommendation to watch from THN!

Monday, 26 March 2018

Review: The Evil Dead 2 (1987)

Stars: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Betty

Budget: 3.6 million

Directed By: Sam Raimi

Sequel to one of the most influential horror films of all times. This takes a slight retread at the beginning giving us a sort of recap/retelling of the first film.

It was also the first evil dead to include more of a comedic vibe and make use of Campbell's amazing slapstick abilities. You'll usually find that this will be the first entry most people watched, then went back and watched the first film.
At least that's the way I've experienced it and a lot of people I've spoken to have also. Although as with a lot of films I do recall attempting to watch the first film at a very early age.
A poor VHS copy in the UK when i was about 7 or 8 years old, it did not scare me I just think I didn't get it nor watch all of it at that time.
It was only years later about 11 or 12 after watching this one did i re-venture and watch the first one with renewed vigor and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Some people don't the comedy line the series took, luckily they are in the minority. It took a long time between each film to get a sequel out, around six years per film. Unlike today's sequels where they are popped out on a conveyor belt though these were worth the wait.

So we get a 30 minute or so recap/redo/parody of the first film, except only Ash and Linda venture to the deserted cabin this time. Finding Knowby's tape player once more Ash unleashes the forces evil upon him and his hapless girlfriend. Linda of course gets taken and possessed by the forest spirits and attempts to try and kill Ash a number of times.
That is until Ash manages to kill her by decapitation and then he buries her body. Ash is then taken on a joy ride throughout the forest by the demonic spirit, finally smashing into a tree he falls face first into a deep puddle. Raising from the dirty pool of water we see Ash himself has been possessed by the spirit of the forest. Though the sun comes out and quickly dispels it's effects over him.

Though his respite is short as the evil powers move the day along at an accelerated speed. Ash quickly gets in his car and speeds towards the bridge out of the forest.
Unfortunately it's nothing more than a twisted load of hand shaped metal when he reaches it. Chased once more by the speeding demon he manages to drive back to the cabin and get inside and hide before it gets him this time.

We then see proffesor Knowbie's daughter Annie and he fiance arrive back via aeroplane where it seems they have found some extra pages of the necronomicon. Arriving at the bridge they meet a hillbilly Jake and his girlfriend Bobby Jo, they explain the bridge is out and Annie fools Jake into carrying her heavy luggage and alternate route through the forest to her father's cabin.
Mean while Ashley has been going mad in the cabin seeing weird things and gotten his hand possessed and then chainsawed off.

The other group spook him out arriving at the cabin and he ends up shooting but only hurting Bobby Jo. Entering and seeing all the blood and gore splattered around Annie and the others think Ashley has killed her father and mother, not helped by the fact he shot bobby Jo either they lock him in the cellar.
Playing the recordings further they begin to realise Ashley might be telling the truth about his ordeal. This is backed up when Annie's mother erupts from the cellar floor and tries to kill Ash.
They free him though one by one the others are either killed or possessed. This is until Annie realises there's a spell to end it all in the new pages. Ash dons dons his trademark chainsaw hand to retrieve the pages from Annie's mother.

I won't spoil anymore because this film needs to watched, not many liked the first film this is where the slapstick took off in the series too making it a fan favourite.
It certainly is one of mine THN awards evil dead 2 a full 5/5 stars with recommendation to watch.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

THN Games: Last Year, New Slasher Game!

Slasher games, a newish genre for games currently led by dead by daylight and Friday the 13th. A new one coming to the genre is the 90s slasher based game called Last Year, it's more based on the human kind of slasher that the 90s made popular.
In contrast to the invincible killers like Jason, Freddy and Micheal. The human aspect is going to play into it well as the killer can be incapacitated if set about by more than one or two of the teens unlike ft13th or dbd.
The killer though of which there's going to a few to choose from can respawn and travel around like that. It seems like it's all about setting up and stalking.

Unfortunately I only have a console and a shitty laptop as this game is slated for pc release only, INITIALLY, they would like to see it on consoles only when they've totally ironed out its running on pc.
So here's hoping they get their act together and get it to us that can't afford the likes of a gaming laptop or desktop!

Additional information can be found on their official site